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Author Topic: Speaking in Tongues  (Read 594 times) Average Rating: 0
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bishoy
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« on: June 06, 2011, 01:39:28 PM »

Hello all,

I am sorry to bring up this topic that has been discussed several times here, but I still have a few nagging questions about the Orthodox view of the gift of speaking in tongues. From all the posts I have read on this forum, it seems that most are convinced that it simply refers to speaking foreign languages, and having the Holy Spirit act as the universal translator. However, this conflicted with what I was reading by Fr. George Nicozisin from here:

http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith7112

Fr. Nicozisin refers to two different kinds of speaking in tongues, the Pentecost speaking in tongues, and the Corinth speaking in tongues. He concludes by saying, "The Orthodox Church does not rule out Glossolalia. She simply does not regard it as one of the important ones. Better to 'speak five words that can be understood ... than speak thousands of words in strange tongues.' This is the Orthodox Christian viewpoint."

The reason that this has become a pressing issue in my mind is because of a recent conversation I had with one of my closest friends. We were discussing speaking in tongues, and what we believed it truly was. I referred to it as I had learned before, which is that it simply referred to speaking foreign languages, as is seen in Acts. He then went on to tell me that he would ordinarily be inclined to agree with me, except for the fact that he knew somebody very close to him who could speak in tongues. As it turns out, it was his parents who could speak in tongues. He told me that they are able to do this speaking in tongues, but that they keep it between themselves, so as to not boast or speak incomprehensible things in front of others. So, at this point, I'm rather confused by this gift of the Spirit. On the one hand, I absolutely believe what my friend is telling me about his parents. His parents are people who I am very, very close to, almost like a second family for me, and I know that they would not lie about something like this. On the other hand, I'm puzzled by how this could possibly be. Some help would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for all your help!

In Christ,
Bishoy
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 01:40:00 PM by bishoy » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 03:08:05 PM »

As far as I'm aware the Church has always acknowledged two forms of "tongues", the second, which you say your friends parents have has several caviets attached to it.

It is the least of the gifts, and should never be used in public unless there is someone to interprete (in other words your friends parents are a good example of its use).

If you've read objections to it, it is probably to the evangelicals who go around speaking in tongues and hold it as evidence that one is blessed by God. However under the pressure these groups use it is quite easy to spew forth gibberish and convince yourself it is from God.
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bishoy
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 03:17:05 PM »

As far as I'm aware the Church has always acknowledged two forms of "tongues", the second, which you say your friends parents have has several caviets attached to it.

It is the least of the gifts, and should never be used in public unless there is someone to interprete (in other words your friends parents are a good example of its use).

If you've read objections to it, it is probably to the evangelicals who go around speaking in tongues and hold it as evidence that one is blessed by God. However under the pressure these groups use it is quite easy to spew forth gibberish and convince yourself it is from God.

Thank you for the response! If this is the case, this certainly helps me to understand the issue better. Most of the objections I have read to it are actually objections to its existence altogether. For example, from Elder Cleopa of Romania:

"It is totally out of the question for speaking in tongues, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, to mean a delirium in a non-existent and incomprehensible language, for then it wouldn’t be speaking in languages, but our own [exclusive] language (Mk. 16:17). Moreover, it comes into clear contradiction with chapter two of the Acts of the Apostles."

and

"The inarticulate voices, lunacies and incoherent utterances which we often hear from the self-proclaimed speakers of tongues very much resembles the scenes the idol-worshippers would make before their idols of Dionysus, as well as with quite a few of the Montanists, Gnostics, Quakers, and later Pentecostals, all of whom the true Church of Christ anathematizes"

Regardless of this, it would certainly seem more harmonious in my mind if the Church did, in fact, acknowledge the existence of this second type of speaking in tongues.

Edit:

From the quotations I posted, Elder Cleopa is, in fact, denouncing the Pentecostal and other charismatic movements. However, the point I was trying to make with those quotations is that Elder Cleopa is denouncing their existence as actual gifts of the Spirit altogether.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 03:19:16 PM by bishoy » Logged
bishoy
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 05:30:02 PM »

Not to be obnoxious, but I want to hear what others have to say, so...bump.
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 02:28:39 AM »

Not to be obnoxious, but I want to hear what others have to say, so...bump.
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